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Poster: dark.starz Date: Apr 4, 2012 7:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The "magic" of vinyl

I don’t recall this subject appearing in a thread before and for us baby boomers born before 1964, vinyl was/is a very important part of our lives. I do recall reading that someone here owns a Naim audio system, but memory is a precious commodity these days.

Anyway to make a long story short my industry declines the better part of April. I've spent the last two days tweaking my turntable with the installation of a new cartridge and upgrades that went well yesterday. Dialing-in the suspension, the VTA and rake angle of the cartridge required several hours today.

Once the table was dialed with a test record, i opened up the LP’s and placed them on shelves which were mostly straight forward since they are all categorized in genres (classical, jazz, rock) and all in alphabetical order. The last box of rock was T-Z and Neil Young’s live LP “Time Fades Away” from his 1973 tour fell out. I slowly placed the stylus on the song “LA” and OMFG! The dynamic range, snap, low frequency extension, midrange detail and the overall 3-D sound stage that was created in the listening room was completely amazing. Next up was Neil’s classic “Harvest” and proceeded to listen to both sides with a smile from ear to ear.

I own a Meridian DVD/CD player and when the ears are all fatigued out from streaming MP-3 files from the internet, i can easily switch over to the shiny discs and re-calibrate somewhat as to what music really sounds like. And as good as DVD and many CDs are, analog vinyl just has the special magic and musical warmth.

I have a couple of 24/192 - original format recorded - hi-res music files that i can stream from PC to my outboard DAC which sound incredible, but hi-res digital is very much the exception and not the rule in my music collection. In general i find that listening to digital is a somewhat detached experience and when the turntable is spinning, the foot is tapping, singing lyrics or humming the melody and dancing around the room is common place.

I’ll make an assumption that a commonality of the folks who gather here is a deep appreciation of music. There are several under < $500 turntable values out there today and one of the better parts of vinyl is shopping thrift stores where folks dump their collections. You can find great recordings in good shape for $2-$3 each. Today, music and film industries are attempting to get folks to pop for Blu Ray discs and Hi-Res downloads between $20-$30 each so relatively speaking vinyl should also be viewed as a value in addition to its musicality.

I got what i wanted, this weekend she gets what she wants, so we’re off to the land of the sun for two weeks, and as enjoyable as the time away is, i won’t be bumming out returning home to a renewed sense of purpose in terms of music listening in the evening time slot.

Five dark starz *****

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

This post was modified by dark.starz on 2012-04-05 02:47:31

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Apr 5, 2012 8:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The 'magic' of vinyl

I don't have my turntable hooked up at the moment (my passive preamp has no phono stage) , but the last time I did, had some of the experience you had, on records that I had not beat into the ground ( oh to have those again in pristine shape !). It is too late for me to go back ( all those records I gave away !). At the dawn of the cd era, I could hear that cd reproduction, while it had it's benefits , still had a way to go in some areas, I just thought that in a few years that would have been ironed out ... While some cds now sound incredible , LPs STILL sound "better" in the areas you describe .
Most Pop, and Jazz albums sound better, to my ear on vinyl . Some of it is that "euphonic distortion", that makes records sound "better" . With Classical, I think the benefits of cd are more important :lack of distortion, dynamic range, pitch stability, and the silence in quiet moments . Though it depends on the music, stings still sound better on LP .
Related to the Grateful Dead, one advantage cds, or files have over Lps is the limits of side length . Being able to hear that Dark Star suite from Live Dead, without having to get up and change the record is more than nice ( Though i still feel the cds of it never have captured the "magic" , tape hiss and all, of that Dark Star on vinyl ). And for Classical, the having to be able to sit through the Beethoven Symphony 9, wish side changes is a big plus ( indeed, the length of the cd was determined by that pice ).
This could go on and on . I had wished the higher resolution files thing, would become the norm, and not so high priced audiophile thing . The technology is there .

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Poster: Skobud Date: Apr 5, 2012 7:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The 'magic' of vinyl